Thursday, August 28, 2008

6 Random Facts

I was tagged by Liz to write 6 random facts about myself. Thanks Liz :) I am not going to pass it on, but I will happily take this chance to participate since it gives me something to write about.

Here are six random things about me:

1) When putting dishes away, I feel the need to implement the FIFO system. First in, first out. I cannot bring myself to place freshly washed plates on the top of the stack. That would subject them to excessive and unfair wear and tear. And just think how neglected the poor bottom plates would feel, never getting the chance to be eaten off of? I do not have a good system for glasses however. Usually only the front two rows get used. It takes a considerable more amount of effort to bring the back rows to the front. If anyone has any suggestions, please enlighten me. Maybe I should make a flow chart where the cups would only be taken from one side, and the cups would move in single file lines while in rows. Ok I think that is getting a bit crazy. Or is it?

2) I am slowly getting rid of my morning "cranky pants". I used to require about an hour grace period in the morning upon waking up where no one could talk to me. If anyone attempted, they would receive evil eyes, or if they were lucky a one syllable grunt in answer to a yes or no question. This worked out perfect in college where my roommate Lindsay also wore morning cranky pants. We were perfectly content to get ready in the morning while ignoring each other. Then after the required time elapsed we would go back to our happy selves. Also, I now wake up in the 8's regularly on Saturday mornings. This was practically unheard of for me 2 years ago. Even 1 year ago maybe. Greg is a morning person so it is rubbing off on me. Dang it. I sort of miss my cranky pants and sleepathons.

3) I really like Law & Order. If you have never heard it and think it is dorky, I understand. I was once like you too. But it is so good. And the best part is, it is always on and there are about 3000 episodes in existence. If you ever turn the tv on, you have about a 95% chance that it will be on. Last year for my birthday Casey gave me a Law & Order birthday card that played the theme song when you open it. Dun dun...dun dun dun dun....dun!

4) When I am reading the Bible, and I come across parts of written songs, I cannot help but sing them in my head. It is sort of distracting actually. I just want to read through the passage so I can focus on the words but my mind insists on sing-reading them. And of course I have no idea how the song should go and some are really long, so the tune always sounds horrible in my head. I mean REALLY horrible. Like I sort of get embarrassed that I would even think up such a disgusting melody.

5) My life long dream has been to become ambidextrous in handwriting. I have tried many times to be diligent about using my left hand to practice writing, but it never lasts. I tried to look up success stories on the internet for encouragement, but was disappointed to find nothing. I haven't given up hope though. One day...I will be hand will become fatigued...I will toss the pen to my left hand to finish the sentence and the crowds will go wild.

6) I become immune to perfume smells almost immediately. I can only actually smell my perfume the first fraction of a second that it exits the bottle. After that, nothing. Same with shampoo. So every time I buy a new shampoo I buy a different kind than the one I had last. I wish I could have 15 different bottles at one time and have a 15 day rotation going. Then I would have good smelling hair everyday.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm a Graduate!

First rule of cake decorating: Always make sure your cake caddy is tall enough to contain your cake before putting on the lid.

Lesson learned. Minor catastrophe averted.

Here is the final cake. Pictures courtesy of Greg. He is so adorable. Each week when I come home from cake class he jumps up, runs over to look at my cake and yells "LOVE IT!". Then gives me a high five, a hug, and then runs to get his camera to take a dozen pictures of my creation.

He insisted on taking a picture with my "diploma" since I graduated from the first level of decorating classes.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Duck Duck Zip

This weekend was a blast. We took a little road trip to Austin to visit Lauren and Cody and to use our gift certificates to Canopy Tours that my sweet parents got us. My dad thought of this for us and we had an absolute blast!

We left early in the morning on Saturday. Greg is so sweet to drive on our road trips while I fall asleep after the first 20 minutes. There is something about cars that puts me to sleep instantly. Even after the first five minutes I can feel my eyes getting heavy. It is my perfect sleeping environment. Good music on, hum of the road lulling me to sleep, the movement of the car, and the warm sun. Unfortunately, car-sleeping is not one of my more attractive states. Somehow my mouth always ends up wide open.

We got to the Canopy Tours place a little early to have a picnic lunch. Guess who followed us to the picnic tables.

I have an extreme infatuation with ducks. I had no problem sacrificing part of my sandwich to feed the little bundles of feathery perfection. They would just come up and surround us, eating out of our hands. I was loving it.

Then it was time for some zipping. Look at the Zippersons.

That night Lauren and Cody took us to see one of the famous Austin sites - the bats! Austin has the world's largest urban bat colony and they fly out from under the bridge every night. We sat right below the bridge waiting for it to get dark and for them to come out. We were slightly concerned about getting spattered with bat poo. But we had a plan. We brought a blanket. We were only allowed to sit on the front 1/3 of the blanket. As soon as the first bat took flight one of us would sound the alarm (yelling "TAKE COVER!" in a very thick British accent), then we would all grab our section of the blanket over our heads into the assumed position.

Fortunataley, we made it out of there poo-free. Check out the bats!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Meet the Bauers

Season 2 just came to a close for us. Yes that's right, we love watching 24. Instead of renting movies we watch episodes of 24 on DVD. Oh it is just so good. But large quantities of 24 can have numerous side effects. The most prevalent one being Greg's slow transformation into Greg Bauer. He begins giving semi-coded instructions a very quick, confident, direct voice. "Open the door, do not make eye contact with anyone, walk down 2 flights of steps and look 200 meters to the left. There will be a black SUV, walk toward it. Wait for further instruction." He also refuses to say "bye" at the end of phone conversations because that's how they do it in the movies. Also, suddenly we are much more aware of suspicious activity. This week at work we had people coming around to all the workstations making sure every one's drawer handles were the same color. Likely Story. More like they have detected some suspicious terrorist activity and are conducting a covert investigation under the guise of drawer handle inspection. So obvious.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Little Baking, a Little Cooking

Here are pictures from cake week number 2. Not exactly how I would have chosen to decorate it, but we had to practice our flowers. Oh and Jen thanks for the icing tip! I did the warm water thing but I dried off the water before smoothing which apparently you aren't supposed to do. Anyway, it still helped a lot on the sides...the top is still a little sloppy as you can see. But I am definitely going to keep putting the spatula under hot water.

And I thought I would post a recipe from tonight. I love getting recipes from others and enjoy it when people post them, so I will share this one for anyone who is a coconut shrimp fan :)

Coconut Shrimp
28 large shrimp (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°. To prepare shrimp, peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact. Rinse shrimp in cold water; drain on paper towels until dry.

Combine cornstarch, salt, and red pepper in a shallow dish; stir with a whisk. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until frothy (about 2 minutes). Place coconut in a shallow dish.

Working with one shrimp at a time, dredge in cornstarch mixture. Dip in egg white; dredge in coconut, pressing gently with fingers. Place shrimp on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat the procedure with remaining shrimp, cornstarch mixture, egg white, and coconut. Lightly coat shrimp with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until shrimp are done, turning after 10 minutes.

To go along with this I made pineapple salsa. I found this recipe that is supposed to be similar to the pineapple salsa at Cafe Red Onion (my favorite restaurant!). I thought it turned out great and very much like the restaurant's salsa...except that my mouth was on fire causing lots of jumping and arm flailing. I will make it again with much less jalepeno. Greg claims he couldn't taste the hotness. Seriously, are your tastebuds broken? Also, do jalepenos come in different "hotness levels"? Because this salsa really was SPICY unlike Cafe Red Onion salsa, and I followed the recipe exactly. Maybe we got the queen bee of jalepenos. Anyway, be warned - if you make this salsa, start with one teeny tiny slice of jalepeno and go from there.

Pineapple Salsa
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, with juice
1-2 teaspoons corn oil (I just used olive oil)
1 tablespoon cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 jalapeƱo, or to taste
Salt to taste
Splenda (I used real sugar)

Combine all the ingredients, except the salt and Splenda, in a blender or food processor. Pulse twice or until the salsa is chunky.Season to taste with salt and with Splenda if the pineapple needs additional sweetness. Serve with chips.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Weekend Happenings

This weekend Liz and Chris got married! Their wedding was beautiful and Liz of course looked stunning. Here is a picture of Greg and I at the wedding.

For some reason, going to a wedding makes Greg want to pose like a model. I'm serious. I have at least a dozen pictures of him from various weddings looking handsomely mysterious as he gazes off to the side. Does anyone else's husband do this, or is mine the only one? Oh well, I like it :)

Here are some not-so-glamorous pictures. Eyeless Smiles; they never get old. They are so hideous yet we just can't stop. Is that a camera in your hands? Quick, get a picture of me doing an eyeless smile.

Here is a cute one of the Ramseys. Love them!

And now, as promised, here are pictures from this week's cake decorating class. We have to bring a pre-iced cake to class. Here is my prep work.

Here is the final product. I tried to do paisleys. It is a teal color, although it looks blue in the pictures. I am not very happy with it. We hardly had any time to work on our cakes in class. We spent most of the time practicing different techniques on our practice board. So I actually did most of the decorating on my cake once I got home. I didn't really have time to plan out a design, so this was the result. I got a little carried away trying to incorporate the things we learned so this cake is crazy. Oh well. My co-workers had no problem eating it up. Thanks guys!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hi my husband's name is Greg and he likes fishing lures

As an update to my last post, I recently had a revelation concerning Greg's love for fishing lures. This was quite eye opening, and something I would consider as another "marriage discovery". Let me set the scene. We are in Academy. Standing on the fishing lures isle. The entire isle is nothing but fishing lures. Greg is mesmerized. He inspects several different packs and comments on their awesomeness. I am, they all look the same. Just different colors and some with glitter. Don't you already have 6 packs of worms exactly like that? What is so great about that spinner bait? I know you have at least 4 in your overstuffed tackle box (aka, man-caboodle). Why do you need more? And then he sees some on clearance and gets even more excited. I am thinking, they are already cheap, if you really want them, just buy them. You don't need a 30 cent sale to justify your purchase. And then it hit me. We are standing in Greg's "Hobby Lobby", on the pretty paper isle. Oh wow. It was like a wave of understanding. I pictured myself becoming giddy on 50% off paper week and drooling over all the pretty patterns. It makes perfect sense! Now I can wait patiently while Greg excitedly picks out new fishing lures, which ARE in fact different than the ones he already has, and necessary :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hi My Name is Jana and I like Paper

Paper - I can't get enough. If I had a million dollars I would buy all of Hobby Lobby's paper. How could so much joy be held in a 12 x 12 sheet of beautiful paisleys? Or polka dots? Or stripes? I can never go to Hobby Lobby and just buy one sheet. That would be like taking a bite of a chocolate chip cookie and then setting it down and walking away. No one has the strength. I need to buy about 4 sheets to feel satisfied. And even then it is hard to cut myself off. What will I do with all these 50 cent jewels, you ask? Who knows. Doesn't matter. They are pretty and I will find a use for them. I have a whole craft drawer full of pretty paper. Some whole sheets, some half, some scraps. I am insane and I do not let even the smallest scrap go to waste. Oh is that a 2mm strip of paper that fell to the floor? Save it! That's not trash! I have a small pouch for pieces too small to keep track of. I think my dream job would involve pretty paper. There are just endless possibilities that could result from paper in one hand and scissors in another. Actually not scissors, those cool razor slider paper cutter things. Those are amazing. Gosh I am really craving a new piece of paper right now. I will buy one soon. Luckily I will be a regular at Hobby Lobby this month. Lindsay and I are taking Cake Decorating Level 1! Last Monday was our first class. No actual decorating was involved, just learning the basics, that is why no pictures have been posted. Unfortunately Lindsay and I didn't know that and brought cakes to class. The teacher suggested we freeze them and bring them next week. However, I love cake far too much to do that. I came home, put the icing on, and Greg and I had a little cake party. Yum. Next week I will post a picture of cake #1.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Babysitting Rewards Points

This weekend we dogsat for my parent's dog Darby. Darby does not travel lightly. She came with a luggage bag twice her size filled with all her necessities. It was fun having her for the weekend, but confirmed that we do not want any pets while living in an apartment. Darby did have a good time though. We took her to the bark park, where she was rather anti-social. She was running away from all the other dogs and begging for me to pick her up. Needless to say she was not the most popular pup at the park.

My parents said we can be saving up our "babysitting rewards points" for babysitting Darby, and can redeem them later when we have kids. I hope we got a lot of points this weekend. And hopefully there is a lump sum bonus amount for joining the rewards program. We will be keeping close track of these for the future.